2020 was a challenging time for so many, and the reality is that even as we get further into January, it’s still difficult to feel like we’re moving forward.
People often think January to be a time when we feel the most depressed, specifically the third Monday of the month known as “Blue Monday.” Even though this day only exists in our calendars thanks to a PR stunt, the meaning behind it is so important: we all have mental health, and there are things we can do every day of the year to protect it.
We should try to be aware of mental health during all months as the conditions associated with it last for more than a day and can affect people in different ways at any time.
This year in particular it is crucial that we support each other and look after our wellbeing. As with many things, the pandemic has impacted the activities and services that would usually protect our mental health – from socialising, to financial security to support groups.
At RingCentral, we run initiatives frequently to ensure our teams feel they have our help no matter what they are going through. But as we moved into 2021, we needed to do something more to support our employees during the current lockdown in these cold winter months. This is why we started the year with a series of virtual workshops that share practical advice on looking after mental health. These are taking place each week and are open for all to join.
On top of this, we have introduced some fun, interactive activities to open up communication beyond the day-to-day. For example, we ran a spur of the moment quiz the day after the government announced the new lockdown and created lighthearted chat threads. While these are small things, they all add up and help keep spirits high.
We have also made 18th January a self-care day for all employees, so they have time to recharge. We must invest time in ourselves when we can, which is why RingCentral holds these caRING days every few months. As well as giving our teams time for self-care, we will also be raising funds for the charity Mind with the help of our in house chef Jason Uslan. On 20th January, Jason will hold a virtual cooking session taking suggestions from his colleagues and creating a meal that is “good for the soul.”
Finally, employees need to have quick and easy access to resources, especially during this time. This is why we’ll be rolling out Headspace to the organisation – it is such a powerful tool that helps people manage mental health and care through meditation and a balanced lifestyle.
Right now, we all need to stick together as much as we can and think of ways to keep connected. I’m always keen to hear what other organisations are doing regarding mental health throughout the year. It would be hugely valuable if you could share any inspiring initiatives you are running or have seen. Please let us know in the comments!